Success Stories | May 29, 2019 | Gabelli School of Business
Success Story: Erica Harrell ’19 Accepts Management Consultant Position at Oliver Wyman
by Kelly Anderson
After receiving a full-time offer from her internship at KPMG, Erica Harrell, BS’19, decided to take a chance and decline the offer. She explored other options and has now accepted a role in management consulting with Oliver Wyman.
If there’s one thing she’s learned, it’s that things don’t always turn out the way you expect—and often for the best.
Harrell grew up in Colonie, New York, and attended Fordham initially as a finance major. After her first accounting class, she decided to switch to public accounting with a focus on global business.
“I’ve always been fascinated by different business cultures around the world,” Harrell shares. “Like how in Japan, it’s custom to give people your business card with two hands and look at it before putting it in your pocket.”
As a board member for the International Business Association, Harrell took part in several global outreach service trips in New York City and Tennessee. With the Gabelli Global Business Honors Program, she traveled to London, England; Santiago, Chile; and Beijing, China where they made corporate visits.
Back home, Harrell interned at KPGM in a project management role in summer 2018. “I had never been exposed to project management, and I learned so much about handling a large client,” she says.
Harrell assumed she would move on to Big Four accounting after college. “It made sense since I was an accounting major. Even though I enjoyed my summer, I thought I might want to go a different route,” she shares “I did receive a full-time offer from KPMG, but I still wanted to see what was out there.”
Harrell attended a career preparation program called Management Leadership for Tomorrow that “opened the door to consulting.” She then participated in Jumpstart, a conference that shares opportunities with minority students in finance and consulting.
Oliver Wyman picked up her resume at Jumpstart, and she completed the first interview there. “The mission of the firm and the company culture really resonated with me. I also wanted to do strategy consulting, which I knew I wouldn’t be able to do off the bat with KPMG,” she says. “I just felt that Oliver Wyman would be a better fit for me.”
Taking a chance, Harrell declined her KPMG offer and accepted the management consultant role with KPMG. “Your major doesn’t have to define what you do after college. I was a public accounting major, but that’s not what I chose to do, and I think that’s okay, she says. “There are always different routes you can take.”